Should poetry be analyzed?

Nicole - posted on 02/04/2011 ( 12 moms have responded )

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Should poetry be analyzed?

Does the analysis of poetry add to or take away from the poem?

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Well from my understanding, as soon as you read a poem you analyze it. Its impossible to not.

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Yes, part of analyzing is to develop those higher level criticl thinking skills. Sadly, our kids are not getting those higher level skills and are coming unprepared to the classroom. It does not matter what subject content, but the ability to process, analyze, synthesize information is not happening. I feel like I have to take 3 steps backward in the classroom in order to make a bit of progress. Last semester we analyzed "Annabel Lee" at the 9th grade level, which is something I've taught at 7th or 8th grade. They weren;t ready for something more advanced. Same with Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken"-analyzing stanza by stanza for interpretation and then asking students to relate is an unfamiliar concept. I think it adds to the poem's meaning and interpretation. But I also do this with silly goofy poems too. I break apart and analyzed "Sarah Sylvia Cynthia Stout" by Shel Silverstein too in order to get these kids to think about messages, themes, characters, and plot development. Google the poems for a study guide for some guidance for interpretation.

Sal - posted on 02/04/2011

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i loved english at high school and univrsity, and it involved a fair bit of poetry, i loved annalyzing it and i think it adds to the poem and makes it personal to you, i still think about how cleaver my fav poet was when he wrote my favorite poem it was good to read on first reading but after discussions and debate about it the meaning just got richer and deeper, i don;t know if the poet meant or even thought of all the stuff our idealistis teenage minds thought of but i'm sure he'd oved the fact we were thinking at all. My teacher did how ever say when we were studying samual taylor colleridge that is was hardly fair that we had to study it sober as the poet was completly off his chops on opium when he wrote it, we should of at least been allowed a cask of cheap red in class for that unit!!

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Nicole - posted on 02/04/2011

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“There was some girl in one of uni classes who analyzes absolutely everything from a Biblical perspective.”

Our professor this term has suggested that we find a Bible online to look up references in our T.S.Eliot readings. It’s interesting to see how many authors reference the Bible.

Some writers make reference to other authors for a specific reason, to give the reader insight into what they are saying, in some cases assuming that the reader will already be familiar with the works being referenced. It is possible to find alternate explanations, but it's easy to lose track of the narrative if you go too far off the path the author has set for their reader.

Desiree - posted on 02/04/2011

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It all depends, each person reads into a poem what they feel. It all depends on the experiences of that persons life. You may read something different into "HOW do I compared thee to a Summers day" for you it may evoke wonderful thoughts of love and romance for another it may bring memories of someone they may want to forget. And to yet another it may bring a touch of sadness

Laura - posted on 02/04/2011

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Louise I personally don't think it loses meaning I think it can give it multiple meanings.

Laura - posted on 02/04/2011

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As a poet myself I think poetry is art. When people go into an art gallery and look at a painting or sculpture they can find their own meaning in it. That's the way poetry is. I have had so many friends read my poems and each come away with something different, and a lot of it was not what place I was in when I wrote it. A lot of poetry is very subjective. Some times I'll even go back and read one of my own poems and get a different feeling with it than when it was written. I love to hear what people see out of different poets like Emily Dickenson and Edger Allen Poe(they are two of my favs)

Louise - posted on 02/04/2011

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I think poetry should be taken for what it is, a snapshot of life. If you pull it apart for analysis it loses it's meaning.

Lady Heather - posted on 02/04/2011

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I never took it all that seriously because I figured there's no way to know for sure what the auther was thinking, but it's good for the brain for sure and kind of a fun game. It's also interesting to get a group of people together and see what they all think about the same poem. There was some girl in one of uni classes who analyzes absolutely everything from a Biblical perspective. Every line in every poem belonged to the Bible. Ahahaha. It was cool though. I learned about a lot of stories I was unaware of and I'm sure she was right about some of them.



I think it adds to the poem because they come to mean different things to different people and their true meaning is expanded upon. I don't think a good poet would mind that. I certainly wouldn't. People might end up thinking I'm more brilliant than I actually am. Hehe.

Sal - posted on 02/04/2011

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ohh i love ts eliot, it was the love song of j alfred prufrock that i was talking about i love it....

Nicole - posted on 02/04/2011

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One student in my class mentioned today that she thought that poetry was something that you need to get your heart broken to get.

I don't know about that but I do think that I read poetry differently now than when I was a kid. Then I let it wash over me and at best, read it enough times to commit it to memory.

As an adult I study and analyze poetry. For some poems, this process is both satisfying and aggravating. Some poems, I feel lost beyond belief and just want someone to hand the explanation to me before my brain explodes. Right now I am struggling through The Wasteland by TS Eliot and it is a daunting task indeed.

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